Richmond, Virginia, US – An athlete was stripped of multiple world records he had bragged about setting in women’s events after organizers discovered he is biologically male.

Mary Gregory elicited outrage earlier this month following his announcement on Instagram that he’d won all nine of the 100% RAW Powerlifting Federation women’s events he had competed in for his age and weight class, and set four new records in the process:

What a day, 9 for 9! Masters world squat record, open world bench record, masters world record, and masters world total record!


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Yay, it’s Friday!!! I didn’t pass out today!!! And I misloaded the bar, lol. – Was actually very anxious going into these pulls. Despite my attempts to blow it off passing out at 55lbs below your PR pull is NOT cool! I actually released my valsava at the top today and viola, no passing out! Took a quick breath and reset as tight as could for the trip down. Will have to work on this next training block, imo releasing tension/ valsava mid rep isn’t not optimal but it worked! – The cherry on top is I meant to load 177.5kg and actually loaded 182ish! My confidence really needed this today! @savvysavit @richmondbalance804 #transrightsarehumanrights🌈#sharetheplatform#powerliftingwomen#sumoischeating#exodusstrength#upliftandliftheavy

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Olympic swimming champion Sharron Davies of the UK was one of countless individuals, including several female professional athletes, who took to Instagram to denounce what many regard as “cheating.”

Event organizers became aware of Mr Gregory’s deception when they found irregularities in his post-match drug test and asked him to submit another sample, this time with a referee watching. Mr Gregory told the female referee:

This is kind of awkward. My anatomy doesn’t match who I am. But if that’s what you need to do, fine.

He urinated as the referee watched, and she learned that he is biologically male when she saw his genitalia.

Event organizers invalidated all nine of the records set by Mr Gregory, who is 44-years-old and “transitioned” in 2018.

Paul Bossi, president of 100% RAW Powerlifting Federation said that he and other event organizers had been “duped” into permitting the man to perform in women’s categories. “She put down female. Clearly, she’s not a female. Not biologically anyways. In our rules, we go by biological,” he said.

Men’s Fight to Enter Women’s Weightlifting

Men who identify as women have been making immense efforts to break into women’s weightlifting.

Jaycee Cooper, who had previously won many local women’s powerlifting events in Minnesota, applied to compete in a USA Powerlifting Women’s event, and was denied in December, as we reported here.

JayCee Cooper lifting weights
JayCee Cooper lifting weights (Courtesy: Instagram)

A month later, USA Powerlifting (USAPL) announced its official policy of not permitting men who identify as women to compete in women’s events. USAPL used the rationale that those who are biologically male, regardless of their stage of transition, possess “increased body and muscle mass, bone density, bone structure, and connective tissue” due to their naturally high level of such androgens as testosterone. The average female body has 0.12 – 1.79 NMOL/L of testosterone, while the average male body has 23-25 NMOL/L. Even women who have disorders of sexual development – previously known as “intersex” conditions – do not have testosterone levels anywhere near as high as biologically male people.

In response, 13 transgender activists staged a protest at a USAPL meet in mid-February, standing on the platform, but refusing to lift weights.

Rep Ilhan Omar, a Democratic Congresswoman from Minnesota, also applied pressure to USAPL. She wrote a letter to the organization, in which she slammed their policy as based on a “myth” about male transgender individuals that “is not supported by medical science,” and claimed the USAPL’s presentation of this biological information could “stoke fear and violence” against the transgender community. She demanded that Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison investigate whether the organization’s policy is in violation of state anti-discrimination laws. Rep. Omar declared:

“Under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, discrimination against anyone based on their gender identity is illegal. This includes in public accommodations, and in Minnesota, organizations such as USA Powerlifting. In fact, just last month a Minnesota jury awarded Ms. Christina Ginther $20,000 after the Independent Women’s Football League refused to allow her to participate because she is transgender.”

Letter to USAPL from Minnesota Congresswoman Rep Omar
Letter to USAPL from Minnesota Congresswoman Rep Omar

However, Rep Omar’s claim that biologically male transgender athletes have no advantage over women relies on invalid studies, which among other major flaws, used sample sizes with as few as four or eight subjects, and relied on self-reported information.

The national board of governors of USAPL refused to capitulate, voting 46-4 on May 9 in favor of maintaining the ban on male transgender weightlifters competing against female weightlifters.

Mr Cooper vowed to continue his battle to compete against women in USA Powerlifting events. “Our fight for trans inclusion is not over,” he declared in a statement on Instagram.

Mr Gregory, for his part, says he is “angry” and “hurt.” “I felt like they were invalidating my gender and my identity,” he said.

Read more on this story

Powerlifting Federation president feels ‘duped’ after transgender lifter competed in women’s division
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The president of a powerlifting federation that ran a meet near Charlottesville, Virginia, on April 27 said he feels “duped” that a woman who competed the women’s categories in the event is transgender.

FactCheck: What is the row about transgender athletes all about?
Martina Navratilova has been accused of being “transphobic” after saying that some transgender women should not be allowed to compete against other women in sport.

FACT CHECK: Ilhan Omar Says It’s a ‘Myth’ That Trans Women Have a ‘Direct Competitive Advantage’ in Powerlifting
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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar said in a letter to USA Powerlifting that it is a “myth” that “trans women,” individuals who were born as biological males who now identify as women, have a “direct competitive advantage” in the sport.

USA Powerlifters Votes to Uphold Ban on Transgender Athletes Despite Proposal for Inclusion
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Transgender powerlifters hoping to compete with USA Powerlifting received a crushing blow on Thursday, when head honchos for the sport’s leading federation reportedly voted to uphold its ruling banning transgender women competitors.

Olympians Protest After Transgender Powerlifter Shatters Women’s World Records
“This is a trans woman a male body with male physiology.” A transgender woman dominated a national powerlifting competition in Virginia on Saturday, earning backlash from prominent female athletes.

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